Naomi's Indiscretion

by Shadde

EMAIL: Shadde

 

Summary: Kind of an AU but maybe more of a parallel universe about who Blair's father is. Originally posted on SentinelAngst. Spoilers for Spare Parts. Warnings: Totally offscreen and in the past an adult having sex with a child.

Disclaimer: The guys are not mine. Sigh. and I get no money from this. If you wish to sue all you'll get are my kids.

 

Blair entered the loft and dropped his keys in the basket by the door aiming his jacket and backpack at the hook behind the door not really noticing them hitting the floor instead, as he noted the gentle glow in the room and heard the laughter from upstairs.

His heart picked up it's beat as he headed toward the stairs. "Mom?"

There was more laughter as he put his foot on the bottom step. "Jim?"

Naomi"s voice drifted down. "More tongue, Jim?"

Blair heard Jim's amused answer. "I'd love some," as more laughter drifted down.

"Okay now, look, here he is. This was his third grade year and he was playing Richard Nixon, and for weeks he was running around going "I'm not a crook. I'm not a crook."

Blair mounted the stairs more quickly suspecting what his mother was showing Jim but was stopped by a sudden gasp from Jim. "This is a picture of you!"

"Well of course Jim. That's me right after Blair was born."

"Oh my god. Miss Naomi?"

Now it was Naomi's turn to gasp. "Jimmy Ellison? The little boy who tricked me into thinking he was grown? I can't believe it's you. The last time I saw you I had just found out you were a lot younger than I had first thought and your dad was threatening us both. He got you away from me and got me chased out of town by a lot of self righteous, uptight parents."

"That's why you left? I was so hurt when I found you had gone. Even though my father beat me within an inch of my life and restricted me to the house and my room for the rest of the summer I sneaked out to find you. Only you had left town. You left me behind."

"Jim I couldn't take you. You were just a kid. They would have come after me for kidnapping and there was no way I was going to go to jail. I was pr..."

"Do you know what my father did besides beat and restrict me? What he did that was even worse? He called me names that made me feel lower than the dirt but even worse was how he ran you down. I hated him for that. He yelled at me that I was a gigolo and male prostitute. I wasn't even sure what those words meant at that time. Told me he wasn't going to allow me to smear the vaunted Ellison name with a common street whore and her illegitimate off.. ." Blair heard Jim's voice catch as he paused mid-sentence and found himself leaning forward almost off balance as he tried to hear Jim's quiet, awed voice even knowing he wasn't going to like what he would hear.

"Naomi is Blair...? Did we...? Do I have a son?"

"Yes Jim, Blair is your son."

"My God why didn't you tell me? Why did you leave me? I would have taken care of you both?"

"Jim you were 12 years old and the only thing that would have hap..."

Naomi cut off what she was saying at the panicked, horrified cry of anguish from Blair still halfway down the stairs. He had frozen at the admission angry and disgusted that all his efforts to keep his mother and Jim apart were futile since they had obviously already been together. You couldn't close the barnyard door after the cow had escaped. It was futile and he was twenty some odd years too late. But when he heard Naomi say his father had been only twelve when he fathered him while she had been a grown woman his world went crashing down and he fled the loft unable to face the reality of what his mother had done and that his best friend and sentinel was his father.

"No! NO! NO!" Blair screamed.

"Oh no, Blair!" Naomi cried jumping up from the bed but before she could take two steps Jim was past her, down the stairs and out the door after Blair's fleeing form.

"Cripes! I forgot he was there."

She ran to the doors of the balcony and wrestled them open, running out to look down at the parking lot.

First Blair flew out the door at the bottom heading in a dead run to his car which he fumbled to get open. He fell across the seat after jerking the door open and was slamming the door and revving the engine just as Jim followed him out, running toward his car. Jim slapped his hands down on Blair's trunk as he peeled out of the lot but he was to late to stop his friend.

He turned slowly and looked up at Naomi who was leaning over the balcony, a look of pain on her face. Turning back to follow her line of sight he followed Blair's car knowing he could see it long after it had become invisible to her. When finally even he couldn't see it anymore he turned back to the loft and reentered the building slowly re-climbing the three flights of stairs back to the loft.

He couldn't blame Blair for his reaction. What a way to finally find out who your father was. Jim had to admit it wasn't quite how he would have liked to find out he had a son either.

As he reached the top step he looked up and saw Naomi standing in the doorway the fire-lit glow of the candles framing her in the doorway and catapulting him back 25 years to when he first met the vivacious, pretty and interested in him, woman. He had been a lonely, child whose trust was being slowly eroded by the betrayals and abandonments of the adults in his life. Naomi had been a breath of fresh air. Someone who found him worthwhile, and like Bud had encouraged what he could do, the few times he'd slipped up after his father's hurtful words to him on Bud's death.

He remembered. Scott rang the doorbell. "This is Mr. Crowley's house. He's such an old skin flint and cheap as the day is wide. He'll do anything to get out of paying his bill though he'll make a real stink if you're late with his paper. But it doesn't matter now. He's got in a new helper, a real babe and whose totally sweet on me. She always makes sure I get paid on time."

Jimmy Ellison raised his eyebrows at the statement that this woman could be sweet on short, stocky, freckled faced Scott who though he was fourteen, looked like he might be twelve. Jimmy was also skeptical about the woman's looks because Scott found anything remotely female cute but he was pleasantly surprised when the door opened.

"Hello Scott, here to collect the paper money?" She looked past Scott and her brown eyes lit up, a pretty, coy smile appearing on her thin, elfin face. "And whose this?"

Scott looked back at Jimmy with a glare. "Oh he's just a younger friend going around with me today. He's usually very busy and won't be coming round again."

Jimmy couldn't help but smile at Scott's jealousy as he pulled himself up straighter to look even taller than his 5'9 and pushed out his chest, flexing his muscular arms. Naomi found herself drawn in by the boys beautiful, sky blue eyes and a longing to run her hand through his silky looking longish, brown with gold highlights hair that just brushed his neck in wet looking, soft waves.

She didn't believe for a moment he was younger than Scott. Maybe still in school, yes, but not so much younger than her. Probably middle of late teens. She smiled at him again, ignoring Scott's outraged look, after all he was just a boy and she might be liberal but not that liberal.

"Hi I'm Jimmy, Jim Ellison. I do usually have a busy schedule but I'm sure I could find time to spend with you." He tried for a nonchalant, grown up air using a line he had heard from TV to make himself seem more mature.

"Oh well I hope so." She said softly, silkily shamelessly batting her eyes and flirting. She almost laughed at the younger boys wide eyes and flushed face realizing that the young man had no experience which made him seem younger. She liked that because she really wanted to introduce Jimmy to the new movement of free love and sharing your body that had forced her to leave home after her father's threats. Maybe when she left he'd even be willing to go with her.

Naomi made it special for Jimmy teaching him about his body and how it reacted naturally to hers. She loved exploring kissing, cuddling and their bodies with him. He was so sweet and gentlemanly. So eager to please and try new things and he was quite eager to go with her when her job finished up.

For Jimmy it was the time of his life, for the first time since Bud had died someone was taking an interest in him. Someone thought he was important and worthwhile. Someone loved him.

Coming back into the present Jim continued up the stairs. He stopped to look into Naomi's eyes seeing once again that sophisticated older woman who had taught him all he knew and made him feel special again. Then he stepped past her into the room. After a moment she followed and closed the door behind them.

# # # #

Blair drove for a long time his thoughts in a turmoil. His brain was so full of chaotic images and thoughts he thought his head would explode. {Jim his father? Jim! A twelve year old Jim, bringing him into the world with his 20 year old mother?! How could they? How could Naomi? He had always known his mother had liberated ideas about kids and sex but this..., this was going to far even for her. So far that it wasn't even in the same realm.}

Blair looked up and saw he was a ways out of the city. His random driving had brought him to the outskirts, away from lights, people and noise. He pulled to the side of the road realizing with how unreliable his car was he better not go farther especially since he had left his backpack with his cellphone behind. He pulled into some trees hiding himself from the road, something Jim had pounded into him after his marked tendency to attract psycho's had been revealed. He set there for a moment, his hands gripping the steering wheel tighter and tighter as he tried to calm his breathing and settle his thoughts.

After a time with little success, he slammed out of the car and took off walking in the darkness, hidden by the trees, on the side of the road unaware of his precaution as his thoughts ran wild in his head.

Over and over his thoughts ran staying in the same unproductive loop but he was unable no matter how he tried to change their general direction.{He had wondered many a times what it would be like if Jim was his father. But that had been a safe fantasy because he had known Jim was too young. My god, his mother was a child molester. No matter which way he looked at it, even saying it was a different time with different morals he couldn't accept an adult sleeping with a child. He couldn't accept it now and that made him blindingly angry. And yet to his everlasting shame, the anger was at Jim.}

# # # #

After three hours of waiting for Blair's return, Jim was unable to do as Noami asked and remain in the loft waiting until Blair processed and returned on his own. Against her protest he left to search driving the city streets searching for any sign of his guide, his senses opened up wide to catch any sight, sound or scent of his guide.

After about three hours he returned to the loft to find Naomi waiting. "You didn't find him." She stated not asked. She turned away from him. "He needs to process Jim. You've got to give him that chance. He'll return when he's ready."

"And what if he's never ready? Or what if he can't process this alone?"

"Then he'll ask for help but I don't think you can help him Jim. I mean what he's processing is his sudden relationship to you!"

"I know that but I can still be there. As a shoulder to lean on or a ear to hear." He turned away from Naomi in frustration and fear for his friend. "I wish you had told me about this before. Or that you had at least told him." He turned to look at her, a look of pain and pleading on his face that tore at her heart, it was so much like when he was a child and his father was dragging him away. "Was I such poor material for a father that you felt you had to protect my son from my identity?

"You were a child Jim!"

"That didn't seem to bother you then."

" I didn't know how old you were! I thought you were at least fifteen if not older. By the time I knew the truth I was pregnant and your father was threatening me with prison, the lost of my child and the ruination of my family. I didn't get along with my parents but they didn't deserve that and I had a younger brother to think about. I couldn't let all their lives be destroyed on account of my indiscretion."

"I didn't know any of that. My father sent me away after the beating and restriction so I wouldn't know how he dealt with my pros... ."

"Go on and say it Jim. I know how your father saw me and he called me far worse to my face. It took a lot to detach from that experience."

"Fine, you couldn't tell me. I understand that, but why didn't you tell Blair?"

"Jim what was I going to say. Blair your father is a child. When he was old enough to understand you had already joined the military and you know how I feel about violence and the military. Then I thought you had been killed in Peru. I saw no point in dredging up the past when he had no way of ever meeting you. I taught him to detach from people and things with love and to leave the past, in the past."

"So I'm the past for you Naomi? You'd like to leave me there?"

Naomi just stared at him unable to answer.

# # # #

Realizing that was all the answer he would get he walked past her and picked up his cell phone hitting the dial set for Simon's number as he took it upstairs. His one try to Blair's phone had prov-en that the younger man had left it behind when it's answering ring had led Jim to Blair's backpack by the door.

"Banks!"

"Simon, it's Jim. Is Blair there by any chance or has he called?"

Simon's heart picked up it's beat. "Why would Blair be here, Jim? What's going on? Don't tell me you two have got into a fight?"

"No it's not that. Blair got some unsettling news tonight and took off."

"What news?"

"Uh..." Jim hesitated. "I rather not say right at this moment but I'm worried about him. He's been gone for six, going on seven hours and he forgot to take his cell phone so I can't call him."

"Blair's a big boy Jim, maybe you ought to let him return when he's ready." Simon cautiously proposed.

"Simon I can't do that. It's been to long and he's out there without any way to get help if he needs it and you know his tendency to get himself in the most perplexing situations."

Simon sighed. "Don't remind me. Okay, okay. What do you want me to do? It's to soon to put out a APB."

"I know that. I thought we could go out and look for him. I went out earlier but I couldn't stretch my senses to far out without zoning. With you along I can range farther, while you keep me anchored."

"Alright but I'm driving. I'll not have you putting our citizens anymore at risk than you already do by not paying attention to your driving." He paused looking at the clock. "I should be there in about twenty minuets. You wait for me." He said sternly.

"Will do sir."

# # # #

Jim hung up the phone and sat back for a moment with his eyes closed trying to center himself and relax in hopes of alleviating the impending migraine as Blair was always trying to teach him. But after only a minuet of sitting tensely he leaped to his feet with a curse and headed to bathroom medicine cabinet to use modern western practices to kill his headache and allow him to more efficiently search for his guide. Downing two Tylenol with swallow of bottled water he snagged from the kitchen fridge he headed for the door to wait for Simon in front of the building. Stopping by Blair's door to inform Naomi he saw she was deep in meditation so left again, quietly closing the door behind him.

Locking the loft door, he loped down the stairs arriving just as Simon was pulling into the lot. He hurried to the car and climbed in, relieved to finally be doing something.

# # # #

Meanwhile Blair's usual luck had held out and he found himself trapped in an illegal bear trap that had been set back a ways into the trees near a small pond. He couldn't believe that just a little walk to try to clear his head and get him back on track could end so badly.

The pain was so severe at the first wave of red, hot intensity after the trap snapped closed on his ankle cracking it like a walnut in a nutcracker and crushing the bone between it's iron teeth that he had passed out. A few minutes later upon awakening he had screamed until he ran out of air and his stomach refused his last meal causing it to make a nauseating reappearance, which was made worse by the fact he couldn't get away from it. He gagged again and again feeling like he was going to expel his intestines.

The pain had meta-morphed from a sharp, ice pick pain into a hot, burning all encompassing ache that seemed to throb throughout his whole body with no sign of relief in sight.

His cries, screams, yells, begging and tears had gone unanswered so long that his voice was raw with the effort and hoarse with his continued sobs as he rocked back and forth over the never ending pain.

"Jim, Jim, Jim" he moaned unaware he was calling to his friend who just a couple of hours ago he had hated continuously. Finally without his awareness he slipped into the dark, night of unconsciousness, welcoming the blackness and end of pain.

# # # #

Jim and Simon had been driving around for several hours and Simon was just about to call it quits when Jim sat up straight from his slumped position, his body vibrating with tension. The dull, glazed look had vanished leaving his blue eyes alive and alert and the hands which had been massaging a growing migraine were now gripping the dash in a death grip.

"Simon head out of the city. Blair is somewhere that way, out of the city. He's calling me. He needs me. I think he's hurt." Jim said urgently waving his hand forward and toward the distant mountains.

Simon looked at him as if he were crazy. "Uh Jim..."

Jim's electric, blue eyes turned to gaze at Simon with pleading and determination. "I know it sounds crazy, but I feel it Simon! Maybe it's this sentinel thing, I don't know but I've got to get to him. He won't last the night if we wait."

"Okay, Jim settle down. We'll go check" Simon said unsettled by Jim's surety and fear. "But if we don't find him then we return to the city and I'll have an APB put out, alright? Jim, Jim do you hear me? I mean it. We'll return in two hours and get that APB out."

"Yeah, sure Simon. That's sounds good," Jim said distractedly his eyes still boring into the darkness beyond the car windows.

Simon frowned at the too easy acquiescence and promised himself he'd handcuff Jim and drag him back if he had to because he had a sneaking suspicion he wouldn't get him any other way and maybe not even then.

After going a couple of miles into the mountains and not finding anything Simon was looking for a place to pull over and turn around.

"We're not going to find him out here by ourselves Jim. It's too dark. And tell me you can see in the dark. I know that but I can't and one pair of eyes just aren't going to do it."

"Simon you can't go back now, please. I heard Blair calling me. He's silent now which could mean he's unconscious. We can't leave him out here."

"Whoa Jim to much information. I know you didn't hear Blair with your ears, not even your super hearing could hear someone way out here and the rest is just to much." Simon complained shaking his head in denial and waving his hand as if trying to ward off the sentinel mysticism.

"Okay Simon I won't tell you how I heard him but you've got to keep going. I know he's out here and close."

"You sure it's not just wishful thinking or overworked senses seeking the peace of the wilderness?"

Jim turned to Simon staring at him in shock. "You know that doesn't even make sense!"

"I don't see why not," Simon said hotly. "The eyes seek dim light when they're tired; The ears seek silence when the sounds become to much; Taste seeks sweet after bitter or sour; Touch something soft after roughness and on and on. Why can't heightened senses when overworked seek less stimulation?"

"Okay maybe you have a point there but this isn't just an attempt of my senses to seek rest. I can't explain it but he's out..."

"Wait, Simon stop, pull up there's Blair's car!"

Jim was out the car before it stopped and checking out Blair's car before Simon could come to a complete stop. By the time he reached Blair's car Jim had raised his head scenting the air and cocking his head in that familiar manner that showed he was hearing something that was out of the range of other humans. Jim took off through the dark trees calling, "Call an ambulance and hurry Simon. He's hurt bad."

Simon stood there alone as Jim disappeared shocked by his detectives behavior but never doubting his abilities or veracity-he seen to much evidence of their effectiveness- and pulled out his cell phone.

# # # #

Jim pushed his way through the trees paying no attention to the scrapes and scratches he accrued. Finally he came out into a little clearing by a small fresh water pond that was kept viable by the regular rain and with a cry dropped down beside the huddled figure of his guide.

Hands shaking and senses thrown out of whack by the strong smell of his guides blood, Jim reached for the pulse points in Blair's neck. Finding a steady if weak heartbeat, Jim's senses' came back on line allowing him to run sensitive fingers over Blair's cold, clammy body to find the horrible trap- hidden by Blair's slumped form- that had imprisoned him here.

A quick check proved Blair also had a large knot on the back of his head that probably heralded a concussion and several bruises, scratches, scrapes and contusions, consistent with a fall and runin's with the foliage.

Finding nothing else seriously wrong he moved back to the trap and determining it was more detrimental to leave it rather than remove it, his muscles strained at the clasp to press it open and back. He realized almost as soon as he had shifted it open a bit bringing Blair nearer consciousness as he moans and whimpering proved that he had now way of removing Blair's foot from the trap. He couldn't just let it go though. If he could pull it all the way back then he could refasten it and get Blair's foot out that way but he soon found the metal was rusted and it resisted his efforts.

# # # #

Simon had finished his call assuring the ambulance knew where they were when he heard Jim's strained call.

{Good God what had the man got into now?} He wondered, following the trail Jim had left on his headlong flight. He cursed the branches that seemed determined to whip him into submission and the rocks which leaped gleefully into his path until he finally came out into an opening. Looking around he at first thought he had got off track somehow not able to see anyone in the hulking shadows.

"Simon over here," Jim gasped through gritted teeth.

Simon swung about and saw a crouching silhouette over a crumbled one and moved cautiously that way.

"Watch out Simon. Don't step on me."

"Here grab hold of this and help me."

Simon knelt by Jim glaring into the darkness to see what he was talking about. He gasped in horror when he could finally see what had caught his resident trouble magnet.

"My God," he said with heartfelt anger and sympathy. "Who would leave something like this laying around?"

"I don't... know?" Jim gritted out but right now I don't have time to worry about it. "Will you... help me... Simon."

"Oh sorry," Simon said abashed reaching to pull the trap wider. With both their effort they were able to pull it totally off Blair's foot. "How are we... going to get...his foot...out" Simon gasped.

"I'll...hold it...you get his...foot free." Simon studied Jim for a moment then slowly released his hold. He moved quickly as he saw Jim's muscles quiver with the strain.

"Okay I've got it. Let it go Jim."

Simon heard the clang of the closing metal. Then Jim was there pulling Blair into his arms and burying his face into Blair's sweaty, matted curls rocking him gently as he ran sensitive hands over his traumatized body.

After a moment he raised his head and his head tilted. He looked away into the darkness then turned to Simon. "The ambulance is almost here. Can you go lead them back?"

"Sure Jim," Simon said compassionately squeezing Jim's shoulder in a strong grip before retracing his path.

Jim turned back to his guide cradling him closer just as Blair began to stir, moaning and crying out in a weak, pain filled voice.

# # # #

"It's okay Chief. I've got you. Helps on the way."

As Blair continued to twist and moan Jim bent over him trying to comfort the hurting man. "Shh, just lie still Chief. The traps off your foot. You're not alone anymore."

Blair didn't seem to hear as he tried to push Jim away, sit up and grab his foot. Jim caught his hands and eased him back down. "Easy, shh. Just lie still."

Blair hit out at him. "Leave me alone. Not my father. Can't tell me what to do."

Jim felt his heart plummet at Blair's rejection but he didn't let him go, pulling him closer instead. "Blair we can talk about that later right now all I care about is getting you to the hospital."

Blair attempted to hit out at Jim his groggy mind only able to process that Jim had made his mother into something he detested and couldn't understand. Jim was afraid he would hurt himself further but before he could attempt further assurances or restraint Simon appeared with paramedics carrying a stretcher.

Jim saw it was one of the teams they were just becoming familiar with. As Luke and Calie dropped down beside them and began a cursory scan, Jim gave them a quick rundown of Blair's condition after informing them of his medic training.

Calie looked up. "You did good getting the trap off. It looks like he's in shock and will probably need surgery on that foot and some stitches on these scratches." She stopped to study Jim in the glare of the light from the lanterns they had brought, pushing her short blond hair out of her sea, green eyes.

"Looks like you could use a couple too." She said motioning to the blood running in a slow trail down Jim's face and dripping from another cut on his cheek. Jim raised his hand to touch his face in surprise, not having been aware of his injuries.

"I'm okay. Just take care of Blair."

She nodded and in just under ten minuets, Blair was hooked up to an I.V., his foot was wrapped, he had been injected with a course of steroids and antibiotics, his other wounds tended and loaded onto the stretcher for the trip back to the ambulance.

Jim and Simon helped carry the stretcher while Calie went ahead holding the branches out of the way.

At the ambulance Blair was loaded up and Jim would have climbed in behind him but Blair turned away from him pushing him away with his hands and moaning. "No I don't want him in here."

Jim pulled back his face paling. Simon stared in shock between his detective and his observer then he grabbed Jim's arm directing him back toward his car.

"Come on we'll follow in my car. I'll drive."

Jim nodded mutely, climbing into the car and pulling his seat belt across. He stared out the window his _expression distant as Simon started the car and followed closely behind it.

Glancing every now and then at his silent detective, Simon finally had enough. He knew Jim was stoic enough to keep his pain and hurt to himself and close-mouthed enough to never say a word about what affected him.

"Okay Jim what was that all about? You told me that you two hadn't had a fight? If that's so then why is Sandburg pushing you away and you're behaving as if there is a weight of guilt on your shoulders?"

At first Jim remained silent and Simon feared he wouldn't answer but finally Jim turned to him and Simon glancing at him at that moment felt himself flinch away from the pain and confusion in Jim's eyes and on his face.

"Remember I told you Blair had received unsettling information in an abrupt way giving no time for him to prepare?"

"You mentioned something like that earlier."

"Well it was about his father."

"His father? Hasn't Blair always wanted to know who his father was?"

"Yes. But I don't think he expected what he got."

"Jim what a minuet I don't understand. Maybe Blair is upset about who his father is but what does that have to do with his enmity with you?"

"It has everything to do with me, Simon!" Jim cried out in an anguished voice, "Because I am his father!"

Simon found himself hard put to keep the car on the road and stop it from slewing into oncoming traffic. He was never so relieved to see the hospital up ahead. He pulled in behind the ambulance finding a park in the emergency area parking lot, turned off the car and turned to Jim with a bellow. "What do you mean you're his father? My God Jim how could that have happened?"

"Well Simon it's a matter of biology. The male..."

"Stop it Jim. I'm serious."

"So am I." Jim said as released his seat belt and climbed from the car. Simon followed him out reaching across the car to grab Jim's arm before he could follow Blair into the hospital. "Jim that doesn't make since. You're not old enough to be Blair's father."

"Well apparently I am."

"My God Jim you would have to have been a kid."

"Twelve at conception, going on thirteen at birth."

"But that would have been..." Simon shook his head. "Naomi is older than you. Didn't Blair say his mother was twenty when he was born?"

"She didn't know how old I was. I was a tall kid and muscular. She thought I was at least in high school."

"She was still to old to be messing with a kid!"

"Hey it wasn't all her Simon. I loved the attention. I enjoyed learning about what adults did. She taught me how to treat a woman in bed." Jim flushed with embarrassment at this statement. He pulled his arm out of Simon's hand. "I better go and call her and tell her we found Blair. She'll want to be here."

Simon stood there for a moment trying to get his equilibrium and push his anger down. He knew Jim was as usual blaming himself for this debacle when there was no way he was responsible for an adult's actions when he was twelve. He rubbed a hand over a suddenly aching head wondering when headaches had become a part of his repertoire, oh yeah when Sandburg joined the team and now he'd just added his mother.

Simon ran to catch up with Jim and stop the younger man by grabbing his shoulder and pulling him up short. Jim turned to look impatiently at him his attention obviously fixed on the action beyond the doors of the emergency room.

"Jim you are not to blame for Naomi taking advantage of you. Don't let your guilt and Blair's natural anger make you take all this on your shoulders. She was the adult in this instance and it's own her, not you."

"Uh huh." Jim said unconvincingly.

"Blasted Jim, listen to me man. Not just Blair was thrown for a loop on hearing who his father is." He pulled Jim around looking into the younger man's eyes. "I've no doubt you were blindsided too."

Jim shrugged looking away. "That doesn't matter Simon. Blair has a right to be angry at me. At least Naomi was there. He always wanted a father but I wasn't there for him."

"Jim how could you have been? For part of his life you would have been nothing but a child yourself."

"That doesn't matter." Jim said stubbornly turning back to enter the hospital leaving Simon behind to pull his hair and wonder when he had entered the Ellison Zone.

# # # #

Simon followed Jim into the hospital and after looking around for a bit found him on the pay phone talking to Naomi. Jim hung up the phone and turned to Simon. She's on her way. He rubbed his aching forehead. "She's really upset and worried."

"I bet she is, this is her fault."

"Please Simon, lets just drop it, okay?"

Simon pursed his lips but decided to wait to broach the subject again later. "Okay what do we do now. Has the doctor been out?"

"No not yet. I've got to fill in the paperwork and then I guess we wait."

Simon sighed. Why did it seem that that was all his life ever seemed to consist of, waiting? He settled down in the waiting room chairs with Jim and leaned back keeping one eye on Jim and the other on the doors leading to the treatment rooms.

It was going to be a long night and he hadn't even got to bed yet. Simon groaned.

# # # #

After Jim finished filling out the admittance forms, he returned them to the desk and then took up a post near the treatment room doors, sending his hearing out to find his guide.

It took a while to filter out the sounds of suffering and life and death decisions made on the spur of the moment. A sound that brought back memories of being a medic and his men dying in Peru. Not a good time to be thinking about that but he was unable to push the memories away and those along with his overloaded sense of hearing and smell drew him into a zone which he was unable to escape.

"Huh, Wuh?" Jim jumped as a large, warm hand landed on his arm. He turned quickly to see Simon staring at him worriedly.

"You were zoning."

Jim shook his head and looked around realizing how much time had passed and that Naomi was here standing behind Simon looking worried and angry and very curious.

"I remember when you used to do that as a child sometimes." Noami said. " What were you concentrating on Jim?"

Jim was flustered not knowing what to say and not really wanting to bring up the full range of his abilities with Naomi. Luckily he didn't have to as a doctor appeared out of the back room calling for anyone here for Blair Sandburg. The three of them converged on the doctor eagerly making him step back in surprise.

"Blair Sandburg's family?"

"I'm his mother," Naomi said stepping forward.

"I'm his superior and this is his partner." Simon quickly clarified.

Naomi turned and glared at him. "Blair is not a cop, nor is he paid by you so you are not his superior and Jim..."

Jim stepped forward his gaze steely. "I'm his father."

The doctor looked surprised but then nodding motioned them over to the side. "Blair's left leg is crushed just above the ankle. He will require surgery and extensive physical therapy if he is to be able to walk on it again. The bone will have to be set with bolts and another surgery later on to reconstruct the ankle. He is very lucky it didn't sever the foot. We're almost concerned about infection due to the uncleanness of the metal and the residue of rust we found in the wound. We're giving him aggressive antibiotics and we hope that will keep down any opportunistic germs. Besides that he has a mild concussion and several scrapes and contusions which have been cleaned and bandaged."

"He'll be alright?" Naomi asked breathlessly

"Seeing there are no untoward circumstances, he should be all right."

Naomi sagged visibly with relief. The doctor smiled. He's being taken up to surgery right now if you want to wait for him you can go on up and wait in the waiting room up there and the nurses will tell you when you can see him."

"How long will the surgery take?" Jim asked tensely, still not assured until he saw Blair.

"About eight to ten hours. There was a lot of damage and the orthopedic surgeon will have to remove a lot of bone fragments before he can even set the foot."

Jim nodded and made an abortive move toward the elevators when he saw Blair being wheeled by. Simon's had stopped him from moving closer but didn't stop him from running his senses over the unconscious form.

Jim noted that even though Blair was unconscious he was still plagued by agony as his almost silent moans floated to the sentinel's ears. He also noted the pallor, the stillness, the thin sheen of sweat which was worrying as the heat could be a sign of fever, heralding the onset of infection which could weaken further or even kill the diminished body. He felt himself shudder at the mass bloody, white bandage on Blair's foot contrasting glaring against his pallor and the pristine bandages on the rest of his body.

He turned from the scene only when Blair was pushed into the elevator and the doors had closed. The doctor had watched both his and Naomi reactions and he smiled reassuringly. "Don't worry, he looks worse than he is." He waved his hand toward the elevators. "Go on up and I'll see you later. I'll be treating Blair's overall care along with Dr. Coltrane, his Physical Therapist."

He walked away leaving them and after a moment they followed Blair to the surgical floor.

# # # #

It seemed to take longer than the eight to ten hours promised for the surgery but finally Jim was able to be with Blair. He clasped his hand on one side while Naomi enveloped it on the other. Simon stood to the side studying the young man on the bed and wondering how one person could get themselves into so much trouble? Then his eyes landed on the two around Sandburg's bed, Naomi gently brushing back Blair's hair and cooing to him, Jim holding his hand and encouraging him in a cheerful all is well voice.

Simon shook his head. {No it wasn't just Blair's unfortunate luck but some screwed Karma that seemed to dog him. I mean look at this, his mother and his father at his bedside, something every kid desired and something he had wanted for a long time and turned out to be a curse.} Simon sighed and wondered how they were going to get through this?

# # # #

When Blair woke to the comforting sounds and touches of his mother and his sentinel at first he floated in warmth and safety of their and presence. His ocean, blue eyes opened and blinked sleepily. He smiled lopsidedly at his mother enjoying her touch and the absence of pain that he had feared would be his reality for an eternity.

He tried to raise his left hand to touch his mother and soothe the fear and pain he saw in her eyes but was unable to lift it as something was holding it down. He slowly shifted on the bed holding his breath for fear of the return of the agony he had experienced before and looked to that side.

He couldn't stop the grin of pleasure and satisfaction at finding Jim leaning over him, eyes bright and smile large. Giving him a big, goofy grin of his own, laced by the happy drugs which had been pumped into his system, he greeted his friend. "Hi Jim," he whispered in a hoarse voice.

"Hey chief," Jim said softly reaching for the cup and straw beside the bed. Before his hand could touch it though Naomi grabbed it and held it to Blair's lips. "Here Sweetie, I'll take care of you." She turned a glare on Jim. "Why don't you go on home, Jim I'm here."

Jim frowned at her. "That's alright Naomi I'm fine."

Blair looked back and forth between them surprised at the enmity he felt between them. "Mom? Jim? What's going on?" He croaked until the cool water softened the roughness of his throat.

"It's nothing sweetheart. Nothing important at least and once you get out of here and on your feet we'll go on a trip to this lovely retreat that I was invited to in Hawaii."

Blair frowned at his mother. "Naomi what are you talking about? I'm not going anywhere. I'm Jim's partner and I'm working on my dissertation."

"I know Blair sweetie but you're going to need time to process..."

"Naomi!" Jim said sharply trying to cut her off before she revealed his parentage to him. "We should talk about that later, when he's feeling better."

"Jim just because you are in the habit of hiding information or lying to my son. I will not! He has a right to know..."

"And I'm not saying he shouldn't, just not right now. Come on Naomi you're the one who hid the knowledge from him for 25 years."

"I didn't th..."

"Hold it! What are you talking about! What knowledge! "Blair yelled interrupting his mother and Jim's argument.

As Jim and Naomi turned to him with guilty looks on their faces the memories suddenly catapulted themselves back into Blair's brain and he stared at them in renewed horror.

"No, NO, NO!" He reiterated from earlier. He shook his head back and forth on his pillow wailing out his dismay and confusion. "Please," he pleaded with them "Please, just leave me alone." His voice choked "I need to be alone. I can't handle this right now."

"But Blair..."

"No mom I can't handle this right now, please." He looked up at Jim with pleading, pained eyes.

Jim understood though it hurt him to the core that Blair didn't want him around. "Okay Chief I come back tomorrow." He squeezed his guides shoulder. "We'll handle this Blair. Don't worry about it, okay?"

Blair nodded numbly turning to his mother as Jim left the room, his heart aching at the pain and hurt he saw in Jim's face. He knew it wasn't Jim's fault that Blair couldn't handle their sudden relationship to each other but for the life of him he didn't know how to not blame him.

"You too mother" He said softly.

"Okay. For now Honey. I'll come back tomorrow as well and just remember Blair this isn't your fault and you don't have to let it have any influence over you. Just you remember that."

"Okay, I will. Thank you. Now please I need to be alone." With a soft kiss Naomi left the room.

Blair turned over onto his right side facing the wall and pulling his arms up to wrap around his chest in a protecting gesture. He moaned this time not from the physical wounds caused by the bear trap but of the emotional wounds caused by not just knowing his father was his best friend but that, that friend had been a twelve year old child when he was born.

It made Blair's stomach turn and he felt himself shaking with the shock of it.

Blair was so lost in his pain he didn't realize anyone was in the room until Simon touched his hand. He startled badly, jarring his foot and awakening the first stirrings of pain.

"Hey be careful" Simon admonished anxiously.

Blair looked up at him out of wet, blue, blue eyes. "I..I'm sorry didn't know you were there." He turned over onto his back. "I thought everyone had left." He frowned up at Simon. "I said I needed to be alone."

"I know what you said Sandburg and I think Jim is right. I don't think you can handle this alone."

Blair glared angrily at Simon "What would make you think that? I mean it's a lot to handle. It'll take a while to process."

"And maybe you won't be able to process it no matter how long you try. I mean that has to be devastating to find out you are the product of child molestation."

"Hey my mom didn't know how old he was! Jim tricked her and got her thrown out of town and called a whore and..." Blair shouted, so angry he ran out of breath.

"Jim was nothing more than an innocent boy seduced by the attention of an older woman. He was a lost child looking for love and your mother took advantage of that."

"Don't talk about my mother like that. She didn't do anything he didn't want!"

"Tell me Blair if this was just any twelve year old kid we were talking about and not one who had been involved with your mother would you feel it was the kid's fault?"

Blair wanted to shout yes. He wanted to yell and scream his mother wasn't at fault, that she wasn't a child molester, that she wasn't guilty of statutory rape but he couldn't. Even with all his obfuscations and half truths there was no way he could ever accept an adult taking advantage of a child. He curled into a ball wrapping his arms about his middle but it wasn't protection enough.

The hurt hit him like a punch to his gut and his pain spilled out in words as was his usual way. "I used to dream what if Jim were my father? I mean it was a safe fantasy after all there was no way Jim could be. He was to young. I never seriously thought about it, it was just a wandering fantasy you know. How could this happen?" He looked up at Simon pain and confusion on his face.

Simon reached out to touch Blair to give him some kind of comfort and found himself pulling Blair into his arms giving the young man all the comfort he could offer.

"Talk to Jim, Sandburg he hurting too. He never knew he had a son and he's feeling guilty about not being there for you."

Blair tried to push away from Simon but when he was unable to get away from the strong arms he buried his head in Simon's chest. "That's crazy. He was just a kid. There was no way he could have been there for me."

"Maybe you need to tell him that. Every time you push him away he feels more guilty and more rejected. He told me a little about that time in his life. His father had forced him to suppress his senses after his mentor's murder and he had no one to turn to as his mother had left the family and he hadn't seen her in years. His self-worth and esteem were as low as you could go and not kill yourself. Then Naomi enters his life. She makes him feel worthwhile, loved and wanted again. She encourages the senses his father has forced him to shun. She makes him feel special again like his mentor had instead of a freak."

"Oh poor Jim" Blair gasped suddenly overcome with grief and hurt for that lost child his friend had been. "I got to talk to him, tell him I don't blame him."

"I think that would be a good idea. And it will heal a lot of pain for you and for him."

"But what about my Mom?" Blair asked plaintively.

"That's something you're going to have to come to terms with yourself but I think you should talk to her first. Hear her side of the story."

"Yeah," Blair sighed. "I have a lot of talking to do." He looked up at Simon shyly as he finally released him "Thank you."

"For what exactly?" Simon said moving away discomforted by the affection and relief shining out of Blair's eyes.

"For helping me process and see that I'm not the only one going through this."

"Hey that's what I'm here. Your friendly neighborhood reality meter," Simon said sarcastically.

Blair grinned at him. "So you going to give me a dose of reality every-time I get to caught up in myself?"

Simon glared at him. "Sandburg!" He growled as he stormed from the room in a huff uncomfortable with the emotions that had been displayed.

Blair lay back on the bed with a smile secure in the knowledge Simon cared even if it almost killed him to show it.

# # # #

 

Jim left the hospital in a fog of despair. Blair seemed determined to blame him for being his father and destroying the innocence of his mother. In a way he could understand. No child ever wanted to see their parents as having flaws and in this case it wasn't entirely Naomi's fault. She had thought he was older. He had known that because he had worked hard to present himself as such. Deepening his voice and carrying himself with an air he got from the hero's on TV.

Weary with Blair's rejection and hurt by Naomi's anger, she wouldn't even offer him a ride knowing he didn't have his truck and had rode in with Simon who hadn't made an appearance by the time his restless feet had sent him wandering aimlessly into the heart of the city.

He kept his head up but wasn't really aware of his surroundings, his eyes distant and lost. He had a son who hated him and a guide and friend who rejected him. He was the loser his father had always claimed him to be.

But the thoughts of William suffused him with a rage he couldn't douse. That man had finally destroyed the only other good thing in his life after his mother's departure and Bud's death. Even though he had repressed a lot of the memories of his past, the memories of that summer with Naomi had always left him with a warmth and joy that almost overshadowed the rest of his sorry childhood past.

Now it was tainted by his father's lies and hiding of important information from him. How could he have turned against his flesh and blood like that? Blair was his grandson and Naomi was the mother of his son's child. He had torn them apart and ran her out of town concealing that knowledge from Jim and depriving Blair of a father and other extended family in his life. Jim knew from what little Blair and Naomi had said that he hadn't had a lot of time spent with her family since she left home.

"Damn his father," Jim growled his feet turning unconsciously toward the direction in which his father lived on the upper west side of town amongst the extremely well to do of Cascade. His intentions were unclear but there was a red haze in his brain that didn't allow for thoughts beyond confronting his father.

He was so concentrated on that course that he didn't hear the young men behind him until to late. He turned to defend himself throwing up his hands to protect his head from the swinging tire iron and almost dropping from the sickening crunch of the bone in his arm. Even as bile rose up in his throat nearly choking him, he was swinging a foot taking down the tire iron swinging thug with a kick in his balls. He had no time for anything else though as he was overwhelmed by four other youth. He held his own even with his useless arm until one of the two young men left standing managed get hold of and twist his broken arm and the other got in a kick to his groin. Jim dropped like a stone and a few moments later it was all over as he lay unconscious in the street, two ribs cracked, a nasty concussion delivered by an angry foot from one of the earlier felled felons and several other bruises added as he lay helpless.

They dragged him into a nearby alley and removed his gun, badge, shoes, socks, shirt, wallet and cellphone.

"We ought to waste him for getting Derrick arrested. I mean if he'd just left it alone no one would have ever figured out it was my little brother who had killed Smelly Freddy. They all accepted I did it in self defense until him and that hippie partner of his proved I couldn't have been in two places at once and that one teeny, partial print no one else noticed wasn't mine."

"Are you crazy? I said I help you teach the cop a lesson but I'm not going down for killin no cop."

"Me neither. They never stop looking if you kill one of them and they'll give you death penalty no matter what."

"Yeah leave it, Snake. When he wakes up he's going to be in a world of hurt and I think that's enough of a lesson. He won't be able to identify us since we disguised ourself and it's so dark, so we're home free. Come on let's go.

"I still think we ought to waste him." Snake grumbled following his buddies out of the alley. "I got a cousin over in Seattle who I'll get to fence the cop's gun and he might be able to get something for the cellphone too. We should be able to get something off of it. If I can't kill the pig I might as well benefit." The others agreed as they disappeared into the night leaving Jim behind battered, bruised and just returning to consciousness but totally unaware of who he was and why he should be here in a stinking, dark, cold alley half dressed and alone.

{Shouldn't there be someone by his side?}

# # # #

The next morning Blair woke early and was waiting eagerly for Jim to arrive. He had no doubt that even though he had sent his sentinel away Jim would come back to check to on him. When he heard someone outside his door he turned eagerly toward it ready to finally talk with Jim about what he had learned. {Could it really only be day and a half since he learned who his father was and the conditions of his conception?}

The door opened and Blair felt himself straining toward it until his mother stepped through a tentative smile on her face and brown eyes bright in her too cheerful face. She frowned at the way he slumped on seeing her then shook her head dispelling her unsettling feelings of hurt and rejection and forced a smile again.

"Hello Honey," She sang out. "I wanted to come see you right away and see how you were doing. You so were so upset last night and I really understand that baby. It was so crass of me to stand over your sick bed arguing with JIm just moments after you had woken up. I'm so sorry." As she spoke she was straightening Blair's cover and bringing him water from the pitcher on the stand.

"It's okay Mom." Blair sighed touching her arm trying to sooth her agitation. "I shouldn't have thrown you out. I was just so upset. It wasn't your fault or Jim's. I just hadn't finished processing it yet."

"I know Baby and I'm sorry you have to. I never meant for you to learn about your father and how you came to be."

Blair looked at his mother pointedly. "Mom I want to know about that. Simon, Captain Banks told me a little and I heard what you and Jim said before I ran out but I want to understand it from your point of view."

" Oh Blair it was so long ago, can't we just let it go? Detach with love?"

"Mom I can't detach from something I don't understand! And there is no love with the way I'm feeling right now." Blair almost yelled in frustration.

"I hear that." Naomi said softly looking away. Finally she looked back at Blair, gazing directly into his eyes. "I was almost twenty that summer. My father had chased me from his home with his strict and unyielding attitude. I was supposed to go to college, find some well off young man, marry and start a family but I wanted more out of life. I wasn't really interested in more school, so when I came back from my first two years at the university I got a job working for Mr. Crowley. He needed someone for that summer while his daughter was away helping a friend out. I really just wanted to travel but I had to wait until I was twenty to get at my trust fund which so I took the job. Mr. Crowley was ten times worst than my father but I was stuck there by my lack of funds and my word. When Jim showed up on my doorstep with his young friend Scott, I thought the goddess had answered my prayers." She paused her pale features flushing slightly. "I knew he was younger than me. After all I had no doubt Scott was just a kid but I don't know Blair I figured he was at least in high school and boys of that age are always excited to have an older woman take interest in them. I never meant it to go further than flirting, maybe a couple of dates and friendship but he was such a likable boy. So sweet and gentlemanly. He treated me like I was special unlike Mr. Crowley or my father." She shook her head.

"I was going to ask him to go with me. He was so unhappy at him. His father was a Mr. Crowley and Thomas Sandburg on steroids, a man who had no time for his son's and pitted them against each other like they were rival teams. Not to mention he made Jimmy feel like a freak because he abilities others didn't. If I could hate someone I think I would have hated that man. Jimmy was just to special of a boy to be treated like that." She sighed. "I guess I really shouldn't be angry at Jim for you finding out and all of this, after all I was the adult and I knew that even before I knew he was twelve. He is the most innocent one in this whole debacle, except for you my dear." She hastened to clarify.

"I hope it wasn't my anger that kept him from coming home last night?"

Blair felt his heart speed up. "Jim didn't return to the loft?"

"No, I just said that Sweetie. He asked for a ride because he'd come with Captain Banks and left his truck at home but I was too angry and hadn't processed all well as I had thought. I shouldn't have taken it out on Jim though."

"No you shouldn't." Blair growled. He looked around and spying the phone tried to grab it. The sudden movement caused his foot to reawaken and remind him of it's presence so that he fell back on the bed with a strangled groan."

"Oh Baby are you all right?" Naomi cried grabbing at him to still him. "Stay still. I'll get what you need."

"I"m okay. I'm okay" Blair gasped squeezing his shut and willing the tears behind his lids to stay put.

"What do you need, Blair?"

"The phone." Blair said in a strained voice. "I need to call Simon...Find out if Jim stayed with him."

"Okay lie still son. Here's the telephone. Want me to call for you?" Blair shook his head and grasped the phone in his shaking his hands. He dialed the number praying softly that Jim would be with Simon but unable to dispel the sick feeling of fear that knotted his guts. Jim was in trouble.

# # # #

Simon arrived at the hospital a hour later frustrated and angry. His attempts to locate his misplaced detective unsuccessful. At Blair's hopeful look as he entered the observer's hospital room he shook his head.

"Where is he?" Blair moaned turning away and restlessly fiddling with the IV slowly dispensing antibiotics and fluid into his arm. "He would be here if he was okay." He closed his eyes guilt swamping him and sapping what little energy he had gained in the night.

"Stop it, Sandburg!" Simon said harshly ignoring Naomi's glare. "Guilt and recriminations is what got us into this situation in the first place. Your recriminations, Jim's guilt."

"You're right," Blair said softly. He looked down for a moment then his head came up and stared intently at the Captain. "What are we going to do to find Jim?"

# # # #

"I've already put an APB out on him so anyone who sees him will report, and bring him in. I've also got Rafe and Brown checking out different places he might be."

"Like?" Blair asked expectantly.

"I don't know Blair," Simon said with exasperation. "Where does your partner go when he doesn't come home at night? I mean if I didn't know where you were I would expect him to be out looking for you, which means he'd be easy to locate. He'd either be at your office on the Rainier campus or going the rounds of your friends, co-workers, acquaintance's and present and former girlfriends. Where he should be no body has seen him. He hasn't checked into the station; gone home or to your office or camped his but out here waiting for the nurses to take sympathy on him and allow him to remain in the room with you, despite visiting hours being over. I just don't know Sandburg. Do you have any ideas? Maybe friends, a girlfriend?"

Blair shook his head. "All the friends I know about, you know about, Simon. Jim is a very private person." Blair sat up and looked at Simon intently. "How about his father. Didn't you say his father lived here or something?"

"Already being checked out. Rafe or Brown will call if they find him there."

"So what do we do, Simon?"

"All we can do, Blair and that is, wait."

"I hate waiting." Blair grumbled.

Naomi who had been silent doing this exchange reached over and gently squeezed Blair's arm. "It's going to be okay Honey. Jim is a big boy. He can take care of himself. He probably just needed to get off by himself and process this whole mess like we did."

Blair looked at his mother incredulously. "Mom, Jim is the singularly last person I would expect to go off to process anything. He doesn't do emotion or deep thought well, or at all if he can help it." Blair said after a pause.

"Don't believe that Blair" Simon said softly. "Jim was greatly affected by the news he was your father and deeply pained by your rejection."

"That's right Blair this is to big of a thing to just shuttle to the side, even Jim would need to process it." Naomi admonished reprovingly to Blair's shame and embarrassment. He knew that. He knew that though Jim wasn't good with showing his emotions except in a physical way, he did feel deeply and react strongly to emotional pain. He regarded himself with disgust. He was acting like a spoiled child and that was unacceptable especially when his friend was missing and despite all logic or rationality to the contrary, he knew he was out there hurt and alone.

# # # #

Jim huddled in the darkest corner of the alley after pushins himself upright and scuttling back from his retreating assailants. He crouched down confused and shaking. {Where was he?} He looked around pulling his pants, clad legs to his bare chest. {Bare?} His hands patted his naked chest and ran over, his cold, unfettered feet. {Shouldn't he have a shirt? Shoes?}

"Blair?" He called softly. {Blair, Who was Blair?} Shaking his head Jim stumbled to his feet and wandered out of the alley. He was cold. Needed to find a place to get warm. A place of safety.

He clutched his side as he walked, weaving drunkenly. His chest hurt. {Was that why he wasn't wearing a shirt? He had hurt himself and taken it off?} Other hurts also made themselves known: His head, his arm which hung uselessly by his side and various places all over his body. The arm and head were the worse though. He had tried to move his arm but the resulting agony had almost sent him back into the blackness and convinced him that that particular extremity was off-limits. His head was also an area he was extremely reluctant to examine as it throbbed continuously and when he touched it his hand came away wet.

Searching the night with glassy eyes unaware he was the piercing the night as if it was day he finally found an unattended store cart with attendant blanket and old, discarded shoes. He pulled the ratty material about his shoulders hissing at the rough scrape of it across sensitive skin and gingerly placing the to big shoes on his frozen feet. Someone had used the barrel set in a corner to warm their hands over a welcoming fire. Using skills he didn't remember how he got and some sticks tossed haphazardly in a pile he soon had a merry fire going, the glow kept dim to not reveal his position. He hunkered down and his body and mind drifted into a sleep/alert awareness in which he could wake from instantly. Even with the fire he shivered every now and then but he was to spent to try to find another place of safety so he remained resting but vigilant through the night.

# # # #

Rafe and Brown were just leaving the Rainier campus after checking that Jim hadn't visited his father who they were surprised to find out hadn't seen his son in fifteen years. They were now on their way to the work place of his brother, another unknown relative of Jim's in Cascade. They took a quick run through the poorer part of town just checking all the possibilities when their attention was caught by a commotion among the homeless in front of an abandoned tenement.

"Pull over Brown. This looks like it could get ugly. We'd better stop it before someone gets hurt."

Brown pulled over to the curb and both detectives exited the car and cautiously approached the crowd of ragged onlookers. "Here let me through. What's going on?"

The crowd moved closer together not allowing entrance until Brown pulled his badge then he and Rafe found a clear path to the action.

For a moment they were frozen in shock. Two dirty, ragged homeless men were tussling in the street. The younger, smaller man was dressed only in a pair of pants and to large, canvas shoes. It was obvious that he was losing the fight and either they had been fighting quite awhile or this wasn't his first confrontation as he was literally covered in bruises and contusions, his arm was obviously broken and blood dripped freely from his head and face. It took only a moment to realize that the battered man was Jim, their missing detective.

"Hey, police!" Rafe yelled jolting forward, the first to break from his paralyzation.

Brown moved in to pull Jim's assailant from off him and as the man continued to struggle and fight he slammed him on the ground and cuffed him. "Stop it!" He snarled.

The man glared out of his dirty face, his watery, blue eyes red and thick with scum. "He's the one stealin' my stuff. Woncha get 'im. I wan press charges. Jus cuz I'm poor doan mean I doan want my stuff. I only lef it cuz they dragged me off to the 'ospital cuz I was passed out. Doan give 'im no right to take what doan 'long to him."

Brown checked Jim and saw Rafe trying to approach the detective but something was wrong. Jim had backed up and was eying Rafe warily as he dabbed at his busted lip and once again bleeding gash on his forehead.

"Jim, we've been looking for you. Where have you been. Everybody's been worried. What's wrong."

Jim eyed him suspiciously but didn't answer. "Jim?" Rafe questioned

"Rafe go call it in. Get Captain Banks down here and some uniforms to take this guy in."

Rafe loped back to the car noting the onlookers for the most part had scattered, not wanting to deal with the police. He called it in and then had Rhonda transfer him to the Captain who was still at the hospital but informed Rafe he was on the way and they were to keep Jim there at all cost.

Hanging up with a sigh the young detective jogged back to his partner who just transferring his prisoner over to the uniforms who had just arrived.

"What did the Captain say?" Brown queried.

"He said wait here and keep Ellison here until he got here."

Brown looked over at the crouching man, weaving slowly in place and grimaced. "Shouldn't be to hard. Looks like he's about to collapse any minuet. Maybe we better call an ambulance. He's been beaten up pretty bad and that arm looks broke. He also doesn't seem to know us probably due to that ugly, bloody on his head and if he's been out here all night like that he's probably suffering from exposure."Rafe agreed but..."We better wait for Captain Banks. If he decides on an ambulance, I can call then. Cascade General is only couple of blocks from here."

"Okay sounds good to me, Babe."

They both stood watching Jim and waiting anxiously for the captain's arrival. Jim seemed to ignore them unless they shifted closer then he would look up with a deadly glare and they would back away feeling uneasy. {What was wrong with Ellison?} They didn't know.

# # # #

When Simon finally got to the scene he found two of his detectives standing a ways off watching the third who was crouched against the side of the building absorbed in his various injuries.

He was shocked even though he had been warned about Jim's appearance. Yesterday when Jim had left the hospital he had looked like his usual casually, neat appearance. A man together and in control of his life. Now he looked like any homeless vagabond war vet dirty, battered and wary.

"Report!" he barked turning to look at the two hapless detectives.

Brown glanced at Jim then turned to Simon giving him a quick rundown on what they had seen, done and observed.

After hearing Brown's recitation he turned back to Jim a look of incredulity on his face. Couldn't these two ever deal with something in a normal manner like most people, without running off to deal with a problem only to run into more problems?

"Jim?" Simon said softly approaching the other man slowly.

Jim's head shot up and he stared right at Simon his body tensing for some action. Rafe and Brown moved closer readying themselves to intervene if the detective attacked. But Jim didn't move just remained on the edge staring intently at Simon a curious, quizzical look on his face. "Simon?" He finally grated out.

"Yes Simon, Jim. What's going on? Are you okay?" Simon silently cursed his words. {Stupid, Stupid, Stupid it was obvious Jim wasn't all right.} "We need to get you to the hospital. Blair's been champing at the bit to get out of the hospital and go look for you."

Jim's head came up and some of the confusion and blankness faded from his eyes. "Blair? Who?" He shook his head and stood using the building behind him. "Blair." He said again softly and began to move toward Simon, but before he could take more than a couple of steps, he swayed dizzyingly and passed out. Simon had seen the unsteadiness and was ready when Jim's eyes rolled up in his head to catch him. Brown and Rafe were there immediately to help the captain lift Jim and carry his limp body to Simon's waiting car. Simon shuddered at the cold, clammy feel of his skin and letting go of Jim as they reached his car quickly recovered the thick blanket he kept in the trunk, laying it out and encouraging his detectives to lay Jim on it. Once he was settled in the back Simon wrapped the blanket about his body and prepared to climb into the front seat.

"Shouldn't we call an ambulance, sir?" Rafe asked.

"No it'll be faster to just take him there and with Jim in this condition it may cause some problems."

Brown glanced into the back seat where Jim lay still and pale. "You can say that again."

"You two go on back to the station. Update Joel and Megan and I'll report when I know what's going on."

"Will do Captain."

Simon drove slowly toward Cascade General wondering when this nightmare was going to end?

# # # #

Blair sat up quickly ignoring his mother's attempts to settle him when Simon entered the room.

"Where's Jim? Is he all right? Where was he? Simon!"

"Wait a minuet Blair. Slow down. Jim's here in the emergency room. I just left him. The doctor said he'll send a nurse to tell me when they're ready to put him in a room."

Blair paled. "What happened Simon? Come on tell me! What happened to Jim? Why is he in the emergency room?"

"Easy Blair let the captain tell you" Naomi cautioned gently rubbing her hands up and down Blair's arm. "Find your center."

Blair closed his eyes and took a deep breath visibly calming himself. He smiled his appreciation at him mother and turned back to Simon asking in a calmer tone. "What happened Simon?"

Simon smiled at Blair's attempt at steadiness. "Brown and Rafe found him over on Lighton street involved in a confrontation with a homeless man. At first they thought it was a fight between two homeless men but when they got closer they saw it was JIm. He was losing the fight and looked like he had already lost one before. He was covered in bruises, bleeding from his split lip, busted nose and a reopened gash on his forehead. His arm was broken and he was shirtless and missing his shoes, jacket and socks. His gun, badge, cellphone and wallet is also missing. I wonder if he wasn't mugged? The blow to his head seems to have caused some amnesia because he didn't recognize me at first and even though he finally said my name I'm not sure how much remembers. He was pretty out of it. He did respond to your name though and that was the only thing that seemed to encourage him to come with me. He passed out after taking only a few steps and I figured it would be faster to bring him to the hospital myself."

Blair had gone paler and paler as he listened to Simon's report. He turned away. "This is my fault. If I hadn't rejected Jim he wouldn't have walked off and got himself mugged and injured." He shuddered. "He could have been killed and I wouldn't know what had happened to him."

He looked up at Simon with pleading eyes. "I need to see him, talk to him Simon. He needs to know I don't blame him. That I wasn't rejecting him. That's it's okay about him being my dad. I can hang, just as long as he's okay."

Simon smiled and lay a hand on the young observer's arm. "I'll see if they can give him a room nearby and ask your doctor if you can visit."

As Simon turned to leave the room Blair grabbed his hand quickly letting go at the captains glare. "See if he can share a room with me, Simon." Blair waved his hand toward the empty bed on the other side of the semi private room.

Simon nodded and stepped out the door.

# # # #

Blair laid back and closed his eyes. His foot and body where he was bruised was aching with a hot throb that seemed to reverberate through his body. He was so tired he didn't think he could stay awake but he forced his eyes open wanting to be alert when Simon returned.

"Blair are you alright? Do you need the doctor?"

"No I'm okay, Mom, just a little tired," Blair slurred.

"You should get some rest Honey. Your body has been through a tremendous shock and you need to get your strength back."

"No, don't want to be asleep when Sim..." Blair's voice trailed off as his body gave up the fight and he drifted off to sleep. Naomi shook her head at her stubborn son and fixed the covers over him sitting down on the chair beside his bed. She held his hand gently massaging the palm and worrying not just for him but for his father.

A young man she had loved until she found out he was to young to make the kind of commitment even she couldn't fathom at nineteen. She sighed heavily. {How could it have all gone so wrong? Blair running out and getting hurt. Jim running out and getting hurt.} She winced as she realized that particular trait must have come from both Blair's parents. The worse thing of all though was that no matter what Blair or Jim said or thought. It really was her fault. For in it all she had been the adult.

She guessed her mother was right. She had been immature. She did need to grow up. Laying her head down bedside her son's she sighed again.

# # # #

When Simon returned following Jim's hospital bed and the orderlies pushing it he found Blair and Naomi asleep. Blair didn't stir his body exhausted but Naomi raised her head. Simon shook his head and motioned at Jim whose bed and equipment was being set up on the far side of the room.

Naomi joined Simon standing to the side and watching as the orderlies transferred Jim to the hospital bed in the room arranging his I.V. lines and EKG monitor.

She noted Jim looked as bad as Blair: pale, covered in white, blood, speckled bandages and dark, shadows so deep under his eyes they looked painted. She gulped at his frailty remembering how strong and handsome he had looked just the day before and her hands clenched in fist.

This had to stop. Neither Blair nor Jim could run away now and it was time, past time for them all to sit down and talk about this that was between them.

She pushed down the urge to flee, not just the hospital but the city as well. Her motto had always been detach with love but she had never really been able to detach from Blair's father and the situation she herself had caused. Now she would be forced to deal with it.

# # # #

Several hours later Blair drifted back to conscious. He looked around groggily and the first thing his eyes landed on was Jim sleeping in the next bed. He stared avidly at his friend cataloguing his many injuries and the way he looked.

His heart caught in his chest as his eyes ran over the casted arm, fitted almost all the way up to his shoulder and the bandages wrapped around his bare chest, head, hands and on his face. He saw the look of exhaustion and noted that even though Jim was deeply asleep it wasn't a restful sleep as he twisted and moaned softly every now and then.

"Jim, Jim," He called softly hoping Jim would respond and equally hoping he wouldn't. At first Jim didn't stir but as Blair continued to softly coax him awake finally he began to draw closer to consciousness.

# # # #

On awakening Jim looked around warily with confused eyes. {Where was he? The hospital? Hadn't the big man, Simon? said he was taking him to the hospital? Blair?}

Jim sat up. Simon had said he was taking him to Blair. Who or what Blair was he wasn't sure but he knew that Blair would help him remember. To know who he was and why he didn't remember.

He drew back when he noticed the other occupant of the room and his intent focus upon him. "Jim? Oh man am I glad you're okay. I was so worried when Naomi arrived this morning and said you hadn't gone home last night. When Simon said you were missing I was frantic. It's a relief to see you man. And I just want to say I'm so sorry for making you feel as if I didn't want you around. I do. I mean I do want you around. I just..."

Jim stared at the bellicose young man with a bemused smile on his face but quickly jumped in when his roommate faltered for a moment fearing he would never have another chance to speak if he allowed the young man to start up again.

"Who are you? Do you know me?" He looked questioningly at the young man then at his startled look continued. "Why are you calling me Jim? Is that my name? That's what the other man called me too. And the two who stopped the fight. That must be my name." He said thoughtfully looking down distractedly. After a moment he looked back up. "How do you know me?"

Blair sat speechless, the words strangled in his throat. He stared at Jim as if he were an alien or some foreign object.

"Jim" he said tentatively, "Are you kidding me man because if you are I don't find it particularly funny."

Jim shrugged. "I don't remember who I am. I woke up this morning being confronted by a guy who claimed I pilfered his things. It's true I was wearing shoes that weren't mine, to big you know and I was using a blanket all from the same basket which he claimed was his. Couldn't really dispute him as I had found it and I certainly don't remember anything."

"My God, Jim what happened to you?" Blair exclaimed in horror.

"They say it's probably due to the injury to my head. He raised his arm, this and my head were the worst things I suffered. I can't even remember this happened."

Blair turned toward the door when it opened. "Simon" he blurted relieved to see the captain. "Jim has amnesia!"

Simon glanced over to Jim's bed and saw the older man was awake watching them curiously. "I know, I know Sandburg. Calm down. The doctor says it's only temporary, probably caused by the swelling in your brain." He directed toward Jim.

Jim reached up a hand to touch his head then he turned back to Simon and Blair. He looked back and forth between the both of them, settling on Blair. "You're Blair." He paused for a moment. "I don't remember anything except you. You will help me. You will tell me who I am. You are my..." He struggled for the word for a minuet. "You are my friend and my guide?" He looked questioningly at Blair. "My son?"

Blair sucked in a deep breath. "Simon can you push our beds together. I need to..." He looked pleadingly at Simon. "I need to be able to touch Jim. I think if we have contact maybe I can jar his memory through his sensory awareness. If I can awake that preternatural awareness that his senses are always in then I believe he'll be able to access his memories and remember who he is and what happened."

"Sandburg what are you babbling about now?"

"Well Simon Jim's senses never shut off they are constantly recording stimuli and data just like our brains so..."

"Okay enough already Sandburg. I don't need a lecture on Jim's senses. It's enough that you understand what you're talking about."

Simon moved Jim's bed figuring it would be less painful for him than Blair, whose damaged foot was precariously balanced. After pushing the two beds together and rearranging the machines connected to both men he stepped back to the far corner near the door and sat heavily in the chair there watching with interest and trepidation as Blair worked to draw Jim back.

Blair turned toward Jim with a conciliatory expression. "Okay Jim I want you to close your eyes and take deep breaths."

Jim stared at him. "Remember you said I would help you remember? Well I'm trying to Big Guy but you got to listen to me."

Jim cocked his head in interest like Blair was some exotic insect then with a thoughtful nod complied. He sat back closed in his and began to take deep breaths following the compelling voice of Blair knowing somehow deep down that he had to listen to that voice even if he didn't remember the man it came from.

"Now picture the dials." At Jim's furrowed brow he hastily continued. "Like on a radio. A dial for each sense: smell, taste, sight..."

# # # #

Several hours later Simon found himself drinking a lukewarm cup of ghastly coffee in the fourth floor lounge. He sank wearily into one of the hard orange chairs the scenes from the last couple of hours going over and over in his head.

Blair had talked Jim into extending and accessing all of his senses. As he talked Jim became more and more relaxed. Finally he had opened his eyes aware of who and what he was and what had happened.

Simon hadn't been pleased to find out the attack that had injured Jim wasn't a random mugging but payback by the Demons', a small gang that was trying to establish its turf on Leighton and around the Missions' District, for his arrest of the deputy's younger brother for murder. The elder had confessed but Jim had soon proved he wasn't even in town the night of the murder which dropped the lid on the younger brother.

Simon shook his head. {How did Jim manage it. He and Blair had to be the most unlucky people in Cascade. Blair goes for a walk in the woods and catches his foot in an abandoned bear trap. Jim walks away from the hospital and finds himself in the clutches of kids who have a grudge against him. How did they do it?!}

Both men were resting now, tired out, not just from bringing Jim back to his senses but from discussing how they felt about being father and son.

# # # #

Naomi sat between the two beds. She looked back and forth from one bed to the other. A smile graced her face and her shoulders had lost the slump that had taken up residence since Jim had revealed himself to be little Jimmy Ellison and Blair's father.

The talk had been long and hard. There had been tears and recriminations. Some shouting and a lot of hurt but finally they had talked out the situation and both men now rested peacefully. The strain eased from the pale faces, the black circles dulled to gray.

It would be alright now. As she sat there quietly safeguarding the sleep of her two boys the conversation played over again in her head.

# # # #

Naomi had entered the room, returning from her trip to the loft to find Jim had just regained his lost memory. He was looking at Blair with guilt and pain in his eyes, apologizing for something he couldn't help.

"It wasn't your fault Jim" Naomi cried, moving forward to grasp the bottom of Blair's bed. "I knew you were a kid. I knew you were to young to be with me. I fooled myself into thinking you were older and that I had the right to be with you because I loved the way you made me feel. You were such a gentleman, so sweet and pure. No lies or pretense like older guys I had met at college. I didn't at first intend to sleep with you but one thing led to another and by the time I realized what I was doing it was to late. So I continued to court you, hoping I could convince you to leave home with me." She shuddered.

"When I confronted your father after he found out about us, imprisoning you and threatening me I was stunned and sickened to find out how old you were. My God I had a younger brother a couple of years older than you. He was sixteen and I would have gone after any older woman who seduced him. It was okay for other sixteen-year- old's but I had the same expectations for my brother my parents had. I wanted to see him graduate from college and succeed in a big way. I didn't feel like that about anyone else but my brother. So when you father screamed I had ruined his intelligent, resourceful son robbing him of his future at twelve years old I was ready to take off and leave it all behind. Of course your father didn't' believe me and paid me off after threatening to destroy my family. I took the money to start a new life with my child. I decided never to tell him. I didn't want him to realize that his father was child like him when he was conceived. I thought it for the best."

"Naomi all I knew was that you were gone. I returned from Rucker's and my dad told me you had taken his money and abandoned me. I didn't believe him. I knew he had ran you off. I hated him and as soon as I was old enough I got out of there. My friend Scott told me about the ROTC program in high school and I joined with Sally's signature. When I graduated I went straight into the army taking classes at the university near where I was stationed. It was the best time of my life, that and remembering our summer together. Do you know I looked for you, everywhere I traveled I tried to find you. I never expected to see you again."

She reached out a hand to touch his face and for a moment their eyes locked. When neither seemed inclined to move or continue talking Blair interrupted. "Okay break it up you two."

Naomi turned to Blair. "Why does it upset you so much honey if Jim and I are together? You know we've already had relations. How do you think you got here?"

"I know, I know but it's just the thought of my best friend and my Mom. Ugh."

"Chief does it really gross you out that much?"

Blair sighed. "It's just that after I met you Jim I would imagine what it would be like if you were my father. It was a safe fantasy. I knew you were to young. And it was a fantasy! Some things you play at in your mind is just that. Something to imagine in the hard times not a thing to become real! I mean for this to be real, my Mom had to sleep with a kid. I think about myself at twelve and the women I fell in love with. I wished one would take me seriously but they were decent women and turned my love aside!" He turned away breathing hard. He looked up, moisture clouding his vision.

"They were decent women who turned aside a little boy's crush, Naomi. What am I supposed to feel when my own mother didn't."

"Oh Blair I never meant to hurt you. I don't know what I can say or do to make this better. You don't hate me do you?"

Blair looked at his hand taking deep breaths to calm himself. He looked up. "No I don't hate you Naomi but I still haven't totally processed this."

"I understand Blair. I'll leave if you want."

"No! I don't want you to leave. Please Mom! Just give me a little more time to process this, okay?"

"Okay, Sweetie."

"Do you hate me Blair?"

Blair looked up at Jim. "I could never hate you, Jim. My mom, and Simon are right neither you nor I are at fault."

"Well I'm not totally innocent."

Blair smiled slightly. "About as innocent as any hormone laden pre-teen."

Jim laughed at that then turned to Naomi. "I don't blame you, Naomi. I blame my dad and your father. We were both caught up in their machinations, hurting and looking for someone to sooth that pain."

"Oh Jim that is so profound." Naomi pulled Jim into a hug laying a gentle kiss on his cheek but Jim turned his head and caught her lips in a blazing kiss that left her knees weak and made her remember why she thought a boy made a good mate.

"Hey!" Blair protested but he too was touched by Jim's words.

They talked for awhile longer healing wounds and bandaging broken hearts. Tired out emotionally and physically Jim and Blair slipped off to sleep leaving Naomi and Simon to watch over them.

Simon had left to get coffee and Naomi remained sitting between her son and her former paramour meditating.

Everything would work out.

# # # #

Two days later Jim was released from the hospital. Blair would have to remain for another couple of weeks. He had been moved to the orthopedic floor, starting his rehabilitation which they had been warned would take several months. Naomi drove Jim to the loft. She got him settled then gathered her things to go and stay at her friend Muffy's house.

"You don't have to leave Naomi. I won't jump your bones."

She laughed. "I know that Jim." She came over and touched his casted arm. "You'd be hard put to move Jim much less do anything more active."

"I hear that. But really Naomi there's no reason for you to leave. What we had was a long time ago."

"I know Jim I just think this is for the best. It will put Blair's mind at rest not to worrying about what we're doing alone together."

Jim had to accept that. He was sorry to see her go but realized it was for the best. Weary he leaned back against the couch and closed his eyes. He was tired through and through.

Even though Jim was tired he couldn't sleep. After a little bit he decided to take a shower. A frustrated fifteen minuets of trying to wrap his cast and bandages in plastic, he gave up and took a bath instead. The water felt heavenly after spending so long in the hospital living off of sponge baths. Of course he couldn't complain about the service and would truly miss Loraine. She was truly inspired in giving a man a bath.

An hour later Jim started awake shivering in the now cold bath. He pulled himself out, dried off and wrapped himself in his robe. Leaving the bathroom he hesitated at the kitchen but decide he wasn't hungry and climbed the stairs to his room.

Dressing in boxers he lay down on the bed and closed his eyes, his tired, aching body sinking with a sigh into the comfortable mattress. He drifted off to sleep making plans to go see Blair in the morning and once Blair was home and healed enough to walk they would confront William Ellison about the lives he had tried to destroy and the grandson he had rejected along with the son.

Epilogue:

Eventually Jim, Blair and Naomi did confront William but it wasn't until Jim was reunited with his father when the son of the murderer that had killed Jim's mentor Bud resurfaced.

William was regretful and anguished seeing how the sins of the father's were visited on their sons and so glad that his sons had overcome their own father's evil.

~end~

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